Let’s real talk for a minute here. While 2016 was professionally a good year for myself (mostly) my personal life was a giant flaming bag of dog shit. I neglected my health – both mentally and physically, my home was a disaster and had many unforeseen issues with it, my boyfriend of three years and I decided to go our separate ways, and with so many of my idols dropping like flies – the world felt like a barren wasteland creatively. That’s a brief highlight reel of garbage of life’s fun curve balls.
Of course there were great things too…. I traveled a lot (hello Japan!) and learned a bunch about myself but the bad far exceeded the good in 2016. There was a deficit of happiness. Aside from the general feeling of the year heavy on my shoulders, I keep a list of “good things” that happened yearly and aside from Japan being one, everything on there is work related. Not okay.
Maybe 2016 was a non sequitur or perhaps a foundation year for 2017. I laid down the ground work and now I’m putting everything into action. The wheels are in motion and I am MOTIVATED. Here are a few things I’m making a point of focusing on personally this year.
I have a tendency to start things, walk away, and leave fragments every where. It’s easy when you live alone, you’re accountable to NOBODY but yourself. Last year I moved around so much that my filing system for my taxes was a bunch of receipts in a shoe box. These are not things that are going to make me my most successful self. I’m penning in due dates and keeping them. I’m starting to organize those receipts now – not post-Coachella panic, and I’m putting things away after I use them. 21 days and it’s a habit I hear.
- Use my MASSIVE CALENDAR (thanks Rifle Paper Co.) and write down due dates
- When I use something, put it away afterwards (and not let my desk become complete chaos as it is above)
- Start a filing system for my taxes
LEARN TO ENJOY THE MOMENT
By trade, I’m supposed to document every single event in my life. It’s daunting and quite frankly, sometimes overindulgent. Every body needs a few secrets, some mysterious, but more importantly we all need to remember to enjoy things in real time. Snapchat doesn’t have to be updated during a moving concert, an excellent dinner, or while simply hanging out with pals. I’m going to make a concerted effort to be present more often than not.
- Keep my phone in my bag during dinner dates with pals and hang outs
- Try leaving my phone at home once in a while (gah, this is already stressing me out)
TREAT MY BODY LIKE THE TEMPLE IT IS
…and not like the garbage dump I’ve made it. It pains me to admit the type of neglect I’ve caused my body over the past two years. It’s more than just putting on a couple of pounds, it’s the general feeling of imbalance and sluggishness. Getting moving is a start, making green juices with my Vitamix (this thing is my life), and respecting my self and actually listening to my body. Another area of focus is my hands; I am an anxiety chewer. If I’m having a bad day, unconsciously I will begin tearing my fingers apart. This has to stop. My hands are important and deserve respect.
- Do something active every day and STRETCH
- Start wearing nail polish so I avoid biting my poor littler fingers
- Make healthier choices when eating (Repeat after me: I don’t need chocolate every day or McDonald’s at midnight)
- Allot time for meditation
DRINK MORE WATER
I'm pretty good about carrying a water bottle with me every where..... but I don't think I actually consume enough water during the day. I have all these fancy water bottles (Santevia Alkaline / Glass Crystal from the Witchery / S'well) and they should be getting more action in my every day life. Also.... that S'well bottle keeps water cold FOREVER. It's a miracle
- Start every day with a glass of water with apple cider vinegar
- Actually drink those 8 glasses per day (and more when working out)
WRITE EVERY DAY
I started writing a book ages ago and over time shelved it to the recesses of my workload. The old 'I'll get to it eventually' mentality. Well... eventually is now.
As Shia Lebouf said: "DO IT. JUST DO IT. Don't let your dreams be dreams! Yesterday you said tomorrow." I have over 50 journals and they should be turned into something otherwise, what on earth was I doing with my time?!
- Create tangible due dates and a workable timeline
- Write for at least 20 minutes uninterpreted each day
- Talk about it more so I'm held accountable for it
NURTURE IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIPS
I spend a lot of time alone. My job doesn't require a commute, I don't see people unless I make an effort and it's much too easy to slip into a pattern of seclusion. A part of this is has to do with focusing on people who are worth spending time with and cutting off the time vampires who don't add value to your life.
- Initiate hang outs, make dates, make plans, SEE FRIENDS
- Making an effort to see my family when they're in town
- Becoming a better penpal to my long distance friends with this cute Herb Lester stationery (shout out CC!)
Last year felt bleak and desolate in every creative endeavor I embarked on. Every thing seemed dull and overdone and boooorrrrinnnggg. Inspiration had left me wandering aimlessly. BUT NOT THIS YEAR MY FRIEND! Actively exercising your creativity is the answer.
- Draw one thing every day
- Read more books (at least 20 this year... and more FICTION)
- Attend more art openings
CONNECT WITH NATURE
Day to day life is hectic. There's something to be said about immersing yourself in nature and taking pause. Whether it's taking a stroll through the abundant river valley I have access to here in Edmonton, or making use of my free National Park Pass (Happy 150th Canada!) I need to make a point of connecting with green spaces more.
- More plants for my home
- Plan a ski trip and pray I can remember how to snowboard still
- Find ways to enjoy the outdoors during any season
LEARN TO PLAY GUITAR BETTER
This one is painful. I've been "playing" guitar since Grade 8. I let myself get self conscious about it and avoided it all through high school. Flash forward to now. I'm 29 and am a weak guitarist. Why do I own instruments I can barely play? I originally read that it takes 10,000 hours to truly master something and then I found this article that gave me hope that I may actually accomplish this in less time.
- Actually finish all the guitar tutorials in GarageBand
- Practice the boring scales until they become easy
- Allocate focused time on it as well as leisurely play while watching garbage tv! (Maybe this year I should resolve to stop watching Real Housewives and every other show Bravo produces)
MAKE MY HOUSE A HOME
I have been living in a construction zone for a year now. It hasn't been easy. Progress has definitely been made in the last couple of months but I still have a kitchen from the 1970s. The only furniture I have that isn't packed away is: my bed and a desk. If I'm not working, I'm likely in bed. I need to have a leisure space and a place to eat that isn't at my computer. Since moving out of my parents house a few years ago, I've been buying/flipping condos and not living in one place for long enough to settle down. I think I might stay here for a while and enjoy the stillness for a bit. Grow some moss.
- Finish reno's obvsssss
- Slowly and thoughtfully furnish my home
- Enjoy my books and records that have been in boxes for over a year!!!!!
Anyone else have action plans they're putting in motion this year?